Waco Transit extending student shuttle service

Courtesy Waco Transit

Waco’s free downtown shuttle, The Dash, was reinstated to serve Baylor students on Aug. 24. This year, Waco Transit has extended the usual shuttle schedule to include an all-day Saturday route.

The Friday night Dash has been discontinued but city officials have ensured a restored shuttle service now to include some of Waco’s most iconic attractions.

According to Waco Transit’s marketing director, Kim Schwieters, The Dash is being revived with a new route map going by many downtown eating establishments and apartments. Many attractions such as Magnolia and Vitek’s BBQ will be included. Waco Transit has long envisioned this new route, but has struggled to come up with the funds to instate it. This year many sponsors donated funds to make it possible.

The redesigned Dash runs every 20 minutes from 7:27 a.m. to 5:57 p.m., on Monday through Friday. The Saturday route runs from Baylor’s campus to Waco’s downtown heart and operates from 9:27 a.m. to 5:27 p.m.

A rider can enjoy six stops, beginning at Heritage Square, running past McLennan County Courthouse to the Baylor School of Social Work. The shuttle then stops at the famed Magnolia Market and West Campus Lofts & Tinsley Place Apartments. From there it heads toward the new restaurant Fuego and Vitek’s BBQ, ending its route at Robinson Tower.

“With the shuttle running every 20 minutes, it will provide great transportation for lunch breaks, allowing riders to come back within that hour,” Schwieters said.

The Dash’s route has also been remapped to center on more apartment complexes.

“Users will be able to leave their cars in their apartments and catch the shuttle at 8th and Speight,” Schwieters said. “We purposely mapped the shuttle by these apartments in order to alleviate parking, and promote the mindset of public transportation.”

Austin sophomore Helena Van Loan is a regular Waco Transit user and is very impressed with the shuttle service as a whole. Baylor is expensive, she said, and if you don’t have a car the shuttle service is a very reliable and effective way to get you where you need to go.

“It does get busy sometimes, but it is always great if you need to get somewhere fast. It is a super manageable service,” Van Loan said.

When Van Loan found out about the new Saturday route, she was very excited that Waco Transit decided to upgrade and expand and its service.

From her past experiences, Van Loan said she advises students that the new route may make the wait times longer.

“Waco transit has a downloadable app. I would highly advise students to download it, to avoid any unnecessary delays in wait times,” Van Loan said.

The Waco Transit aims to have Baylor students utilize their service and take advantage of the chance to explore the growing urban heart of Waco. It wants to encourage students to use public transportation as a resource to explore Waco in a more environmentally friendly way.

The Dash’s full shuttle schedule can be found at www.waco-texas.com/transit/dash.asp.